REDISTRICTING FOR THE STATE LEGISLATURE AND THE U.S HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Statement of Position adopted 2012

The League of Women Voters of Michigan (LWVMI) supports the formation of an independent redistricting commission in lieu of the legislature as the primary redistricting body. Such a commission should afford equal representation to the major parties and provide for independent and diverse representation. This commission should be established through legislation and/or a constitutional amendment.

The LWVMI reaffirms its support for the LWVUS goals of transparency and citizen partnership in the redistricting process. To implement these goals the following procedures should be used:

1.Meetings of the redistricting body should be subject to the Open Meetings Act.

2.Proposed maps should be published in a timely manner, in print, online and on television with an explanation of the rationale involved.

3.A period of at least 30 days following publication of the proposed maps should be allowed for public review and comment.

4.Public hearings should be held at different locations throughout the state.

5.Census data and relevant census software should be made available online.

The list is open ended. Technological and other improvements should be employed as they become available.

The LWVMI supports the population as the primary criterion for redistricting. Other factors of importance are contiguity, maintaining political and geographical boundaries and minority representation. Additional factors to be considered are communities of interest, competitiveness, and compactness. There should be no preferential treatment for any party and no protection of incumbents. Redistricting should take place only once a decade following the decennial census.